“I don’t think about the consequences of creating a work of art, and I’m ready for any consequence,” Rajabian told Sky News.
Iranian artist Mehdi Razbian released another album on Friday, once again defying the ban that reportedly landed him in prison for two years.
Rajabian took over the interests of American producer Harvey Mason Jr., who serves as Grammy’s president and CEO. Mason is releasing Rajabian’s album, “Coupe of Gods”, under his own label.
“I thought it was beautiful,” Mason said of Rajbian’s music. Mason told Granthshala News that when Rajbian shared his music, “I was really excited and I thought the music was wonderful and artistically special and really compelling.”
Rajabian’s latest album serves as a reflection on the hardships he went through while in custody. Following one of his arrests in 2015, he went on a 40-day hunger strike, which inspired the first track of his new album, “Whip on a Lifeless Body”.
“This piece is a descriptor of a human body that no longer has a physical presence,” he told sky news. “The feeling is of when I was on a hunger strike, between earth and sky, between life and death, between the living and the dead… On the 29th day of the hunger strike, I opened my eyes that morning, and I am not Knew whether I was alive or dead, on earth or in heaven. I was unconscious. It was a strange feeling.”
Iranian musician banned for inciting women to dance and sing
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard arrested Rajabian in 2013 after his recording studio violated a ban on female singers. “Coupe of Gods”, an apparent re-declaration of rebellion, featuring vocals from two American women, digital music news informed of.
The album’s announcement last year prompted 90 days of solitary confinement, which seems to have injured but also enthused the 31-year-old dissident. “After every darkness there is a light… I am optimistic about the future,” he told Sky News.
Return to prison seems imminent as he is reportedly under a three-year suspended sentence that can easily be reactivated. The trial before his 2015 arrest lasted only a few minutes. He and his brother were found guilty of “spreading propaganda against the law” and “insulting the holy”.
Jailed Iranian musician slams regime by releasing album about war and oppression
However, music is a necessity for Razbian that warrants sacrifice.
According to the BBC, “I do not think about the consequences of producing a work of art, and I am prepared for any consequence.” “They can imprison me again. [will] Also write music in prison, as I wrote earlier. The music will never stop under any circumstances.”
She previously told Granthshala News: “Solitary confinement kills one’s soul, and hunger strike kills one’s body, which I experienced both. I went on two separate hunger strikes, the last for over a month. Lasted a time where I lost 33 pounds, and there’s damage to my body that I’m still trying to repair.”
Rajabian’s suffering has affected both the content and production of his music. The BBC reported that his hunger strike caused swelling in his joints, making him unable to play his music.
Musicians from around the world have filled in the gaps, producing songs composed by Rajabian and sending them back to the dungeon where he is hiding in northern Iran.
Granthshala News’ Holly McKay contributed to this report.